When it’s time to kick back and put your feet up at the end of the day, one piece of furniture is essential: the footstool.
But the usefulness of a footstool, sometimes called an ottoman or pouffe, doesn’t end there. It’s a versatile piece of furniture that supports any number of activities.
“They’re very multifunctional,” said Renée DiSanto, a founder of Park & Oak, a Chicago-based interior design firm. “You could use it for seating, as a little coffee table or end table, or it could just be decorative.” Some footstools even have compartments inside to provide extra storage.
And much like a throw pillow, a footstool is small enough that it’s an ideal way to introduce an eye-catching material, shape or fabric to a room. “You can add color, texture and pattern, without it being too overwhelming,” Ms. DiSanto said, as it might be “if you put it on a sofa.”
Footstools, she added, “have a lot of impact for their small size.”
How tall should it be? Compared to the seat height of a sofa or chair, “either the same height or a little bit lower is ideal,” Ms. DiSanto said.
Is weight important? “You want to make sure that it’s sturdy enough you can sit on it,” she said, “but not so heavy that you can’t move it around.”
Should it be cushioned? “Not always,” Ms. DiSanto said. “We’ve used wood stools and woven stools.”
Petite Moreno Ottoman
Walnut or oak footstool with cushioned top
From $975 at Lawson-Fenning: 323-934-0048 or lawsonfenning.com
Snoozer Cream Storage Ottoman
Footstool with storage compartment by Leanne Ford
$399 at Crate and Barrel: 800-967-6696 or crateandbarrel.com
Cooper Leather Stool
Folding wood stool with leather-sling top
$598 at Serena & Lily: 866-597-2742 or serenaandlily.com
Upholstered footstool with powder-coated steel frame
$195 at Industry West: 800-382-9303 or industrywest.com